The day started good. Alice is one of my grandchildren, at nine years of age she has a great interest in art and in nature. We spent a day together recently which started with us going to buy clay as that was Alice’s plan for one of our activities. But our first action was to put the hammer to a genode which my grandchildren had gifted me. After a few knocks we were rewarded with wonderful crystals!
Before long we went into the garden, and as there are lots of wild things growing there at the moment it is naturally attracting quite a bit of wildlife so we went hunting for insects or any creatures we could spot and take pictures of. Alice was the fastest and I heard her call out in delight when she found yet another creature. She was the one spotting the Crab spider, a little white spider of which I had not seen many in our garden so far. She also noticed a curious thing to do with bees, she spotted nine bees that seem to be sucking water from moss, this on the shadow side of our steps leading into the garden proper. Never seen anything like it in my life! Delighted to see the honey bees in our garden though.
crab spider Misumena vatia
Araniella cucurbitina – Cucumber spider
The white Crab spider (Misumena Vatia) and the Cucumber spider (Araniella Curcubitina)
Here are some of the honey bees and the moss on the steps from which they seemed to be sucking water. Curious, and never heard of this before.
Harvestman – Dicranopalpus ramosus
Saddleback Harvestman – Mitopus morio
Two different types of Harvestmen (Dicranopalpus ramosus) and Saddleback Harvestman (Mitopus morio)
Sarcophaga bercaea – Flesh fly
A most beautifully grey and black striped Flesh fly (Sacrophaga bercaea) It is said that they deposit their larvae on meat or carrion. They will eat decaying vegetable matter. I learnt that the majority of this species will feed on small carrion like dead insects and snails. I’m only reading up on this fly, never knew anything about it before.
Early in the morning I had a visit from a marvellous looking Peacock butterfly which I had to rescue as it had a bit of spider web on one of its legs, It flew away happily afterwards, but in the meantime it had made my day!
Common Greenbottle Fly – Phaenicia sericata
Yellow and black ladybird
Common Greenbottle fly (Phaenicia sericata), a common garden spider (Araneus Diadematus), and a yellow and black ladybird.
Brown Leaf Hopper – Philaenus spumarius
A brown Leaf hopper (Philaenus spumarius) and a Bumblebee which I have been trying to identify but it is not easy, I was wondering if it was the Bombus pascuorum because of it orange thorax and black on its abdomen, but I am not sure about it.
After all our discoveries in the garden and our speculating what the bees were up to, we set to making some fun things in clay, it kept us being creative for a long while.
One of Alice’s craft results, and showing me one of the snails she was feeding with dandelion leaves. She did release them in the garden before she went home again! Well that is where they live after all.
What an enjoyable day it was, it is interesting and nice to see a young mind look at nature, ask very many questions and have respect for creatures and enjoyment from observations.
If I have any of the identifications wrong and someone spots it may I please be corrected, I would appreciate that.